John Egan


Job prospects for college students pursuing careers in interactive marketing are bright and getting brighter, according to two university professors who specialize in interactive marketing.

“All media are becoming more interactive, and students who graduate with a mix of skills – marketing, digital and analytical – will be in high demand by employers,” said Charles Hofacker, the Carl DeSantis Professor of Business Administration at Florida State University.

Certainly, some of those employers will be hunting for talent at the upcoming ad:tech conference in San Francisco.

Debra Zahay Blatz, associate professor of interactive marketing at Northern Illinois University’s College of Business, said about 50 students at her school are graduating each year with certificates in interactive marketing. She said 85 percent of those students are being hired for interactive marketing jobs in areas like search, social media, email, website design and website usability.

“Students who understand paid and organic search, social media and email marketing and how all three fit together for an integrated campaign are in demand,” said Blatz, who is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing.

Hofacker said two types of marketing graduates in particular are attracting the attention of employers: those who supplement their marketing classes with courses in information systems and those who supplement their marketing classes with courses in statistics and analytics.

In an online letter, Terri Bartlett, president of the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation, says direct and interactive marketing represent a “hotbed” of career opportunities. Indeed, a survey for creative staffing agency The Creative Group found that nearly 40 percent of marketing and advertising executives reported challenges in finding skilled creative professionals.

When it comes to jobs in interactive marketing, 9 percent of the executives interviewed for The Creative Group survey said they’d be hiring for roles in social media in early 2013, while 7 percent cited jobs in web design and production, and 5 percent mentioned roles in interactive media.

This article is part of Allvoices’ series on ad:tech, the largest, longest-running digital marketing and technology event. Check out for more of Allvoices’ ad:tech coverage. This series is supported by ad:tech.